The Prehistory of Music

The Prehistory of Music : Human Evolution, Archaeology, and the Origins of Musicality

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Music is possessed by all human cultures, and archaeological evidence for musical activities pre-dates even the earliest-known cave art. Music has been the subject of keen investigation across a great diversity of fields, from neuroscience and psychology to ethnography, archaeology, and its own dedicated field, musicology. Despite the great contributions that these studies have made towards understanding musical behaviours, much remains mysterious about this ubiquitous human phenomenon - not least, its origins. In a ground-breaking study, this volume brings together evidence from these fields, and more, in investigating the evolutionary origins of our musical abilities, the nature of music, and the earliest archaeological evidence for musical activities amongst our ancestors. Seeking to understand the true relationship between our unique musical capabilities and the development of the remarkable social, emotional, and communicative abilities of our species, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in music and human physical and cultural evolution.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 34mm | 839.99g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 26 in-text illustrations
  • 0199234086
  • 9780199234080
  • 948,381

About Iain Morley

Dr Iain Morley is Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology and Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Hugh's College. He teaches human evolution and the evolution of human cognition. Particular areas of interest include the emergence of ritual and religion, Palaeolithic imagery, and the evolutionary origins and archaeology of music.
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Table of contents

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Review quote

an up-to-date and authoritative overview of recent research on evolution and cognition of musicality ... a comprehensive and sophisticated outline of the present state of play by a leading authority ... The text is geared seamlessly to academics, students, and general readership; its accessible style and keen exposition will no doubt garner enthusiasm for the project. * Dr Anton Killin, Biology & Philosophy * [A] superb book ... very clear and easy to follow and understand. * Sean Gurd, The Classical Journal *
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